ArtworksMarc-Aurèle FortinÉtude le Port , 1930 (circa)1888-1970CAD 10,000
Inscriptionssigned, "M.A. FORTIN" (lower left); titled and signed by the artist, ‘Etude le Port/ Fortin (verso, centre)
Galerie L'Art Français, Montreal
Property of Roland Dumais, Montreal
Cosner Gallery, Montreal
Acquired from the above by the present private collection, Montreal.
There is a freshness and vibrancy of colour in this fine watercolour exceeding that of many of Fortin’s of this generation. Although small in size, the work shows the ability of the artist to “think” in the medium of watercolour, essentially sculpting with his medium to reveal images and highlights. It is the absence of paint that serves to deliver his composition. This is a talent shared by a limited number of artists who are also accomplished for their work in oils. One would be inclined to include in that elite group David Milne, Franklin Carmichael and Molly Lamb Bobak.
It is of interest to note the development of the Port of Montreal in the 1920s and the construction of these massive grain silos. Whether it is intentional or otherwise, one cannot help but consider the economic activity Fortin describes and the related social change marked by those years, juxtaposed against the traditions represented by the Cathedral of Saint Anthony of Padua in the distance. Fortin was not a documentary painter. However one might speculate that this fine composition may have been inspired by a view from the Hochelaga Maisonneuve Pier. A previous owner of this fine Fortin, Roland Dumais, was a successful Montréal architect and a client of Walter Klinkhoff Gallery.